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Solid Waste Authority seeks support from state lawmakers

August 26, 2011

State Sen. Joe Scarnati

BROOKVILLE — The Solid Waste Authority of Jefferson County is hoping to make some headway with local lawmakers in its quest for funding.

Donna Cooper, solid waste/recycling coordinator, wants to schedule a meeting with state Rep. Sam Smith and state Sen. Joe Scarnati to update them on the authority’s funding status.

Since losing its administrative fee, the authority has been trying to stay afloat.

For 2011 drop-off donations, $11,208 has been committed, and the authority has already received $10,708 of that money. Last year, the authority received only $8,450.

Cooper also hopes to inform the legislators about a study on the scrap industry by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. The report estimated that about 150 scrap industry jobs exist in Scarnati’s district.

Recently, the authority has heard some potentially good news from the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association (PMAA).

PMAA proposed that “the legislature adopt legislation that allows solid waste authorities and local government entities to impose an administrative fee for recycling and waste management.”

In addition,the Government Liaison Committee is looking into alternatives for administrative fees.

A new federal resolution is also showing more support for recycling.
Federal Senate Resolution 251 expresses support for improvement in the collection, processing and use of recyclable materials throughout the United States, and reinforces the importance of recycling to the U.S. economy.

It also highlights the benefits of recycling.

“It would be nice if something like this could filter down to the state — for the state to really take it on,” Cooper said.

“It’s out there, but how it takes hold remains to be seen. But the federal government is recognizing the importance of recycling,” she said.
Pharmaceutical companies are also expanding their recycling programs.

CVS pharmacies now join Rite Aid, Walgreens and Kroger’s in a mail-back program for unused, outdated or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Mailing envelopes cost $3.99 at CVS stores, along with the three other participants.

Once mailed, the recyclable materials go to Sharps Compliance Corporation, where they are disposed of properly.

In other business:
• At last month’s meeting, Cooper reported what she thought were the final numbers for 2010’s annual recycling report.

But this month, she had an update: 388 tons were added to the total tons recycled.

The authority increased the total number of tons recycled from 2009 by about 1,300 tons.

In 2009, the total was 17,086.2 tons, and last year’s total was 18,431 tons.

• The due date for the authority’s 904 Performance Grant has been changed from Sept. 30 to Dec. 30. Grants will be reduced by 40 percent.
Usually, the authority received between $25,000 and $27,000 from the grant. Cooper now expects between $15,000 and $16,000.

• The authority plans to move the Walston recycling site to the Young Township building.

• The next regularly scheduled Solid Waste Authority meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28.

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